Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Season 3, Episode 6
Band Candy main
Air date November 10, 1998
Written by Jane Espenson
Directed by Michael Lange
Episode Guide
Sarah Michelle Gellar Buffy
Nicholas Brendon Xander
Alyson Hannigan Willow
Charisma Carpenter Cordelia
David Boreanaz Angel
Seth Green Oz
Anthony Stewart Head Giles
Guest Starring
Kristine Sutherland Joyce
K. Todd Freeman Mr. Trick
Robin Sachs Ethan
Harry Groener Mayor Wilkins
Armin Shimerman Principal Snyder
Co Starring
Jason Hall Devon
Peg Stewart Ms. Barton
Stacy Arnell Trix
Jane Espenson Lunch Lady

"Band Candy" is the sixth episode of the third season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and is the fortieth episode in the series. It was written by Jane Espenson and directed by Michael Lange. It was originally broadcast on November 10, 1998.

Sunnydale High students are coerced into selling candy bars to raise money for the school band, and they inadvertently cause every adult in the city to behave like reckless teenagers.


Buffy combines her slaying with studying for the SAT in the graveyard with Giles. At school the next day, Buffy tells Willow and Oz of a test-related nightmare. Oz offers to help her study and Willow brags about how smart Oz is. Buffy tells them Giles and her Mom have her scheduled 24/7 to keep her out of trouble. They find Principal Snyder in the cafeteria handing out boxes of candy, which they are forced to sell to pay for band uniforms.

Meanwhile, at City Hall, the Mayor speaks to Mr. Trick about a 'tribute' he needs to make to a demon. Mr. Trick assures his boss that the matter is well in hand, as he has hired an outside contractor who has caused trouble in Sunnydale before.

Buffy sells half of her candy to her mom, and Buffy tries to convince her mom to let her get her driver's license. Joyce refuses, at least in part because she is worried that if Buffy has a license, she might leave again and not come back. Buffy then leaves for the library, telling her mother that Giles is making her practice all night. She sells the other half of her candy quota to Giles, and leaves, telling Giles her mother is making her go home. Instead, Buffy visits Angel, bringing him blood. He is quickly getting better and is practicing Tai Ch'i. He asks her about Scott, but she doesn't tell him they've broken up. When she arrives home, Buffy finds her mother and Giles waiting, angry at her lies. They send her to bed and proceed to munch on the chocolate bars.

The next day, Giles fails to show up for study hall, and Xander and Willow secretly play footsie under the table. Worried, Buffy goes to Giles's place and finds her mom sitting on the couch. Giles explains that they are rescheduling her activities to lessen her burden, and Joyce gives Buffy her car keys and tells her to drive herself home. After a surprised Buffy leaves, they conspiratorially hope she's not noticed anything amiss, and then Giles lights up a cigarette and Joyce pulls out a bottle of Kahlua she had quickly hidden when Buffy arrived.

Giles, now "Ripper," offers to take Joyce out for some fun while Buffy decides to go with Willow to the Bronze, despite the SAT exam being the next day. Buffy frightens Willow with her crazy driving. At the Bronze, Buffy and Willow discover the place now packed with adults who are acting like teenagers, including Principal Snyder, Mrs. Bartrum, and Willow's shirtless, stage-diving doctor. Snyder starts following Buffy and Willow, who take off, along with Oz, to find out what's going on—they've noticed the manic eating of band candy, and suspect that it is causing adults to act like teenagers, with all the attendant irresponsibility, lust, and emotionality. Oz initially isn't too worried, assuming that even as a teenager Giles would still be responsible. Buffy and Willow, however, know better and tell him that rather than being responsible Giles was an out-of-control dark magic user.

Mr. Trick checks up on Ethan Rayne, the "outside contractor," and the production of the chocolate bars, then leaves to perform the "tribute."

Meanwhile, Joyce notices a coat in the window of April Fools, and Ripper shatters it to steal the coat. The ensuing alarm attracts a cop, who Giles beats unconscious. They steal his gun, cuffs, and cruiser. He and Joyce start making out on the hood of the police car.

Buffy gets into a car accident and damages her mom's car. Snyder knows the factory where the candy came from, so Buffy sends her friends to the library to do research just before finding her mother and Giles kissing in the middle of the street. Buffy tries to reason with her mother, with no luck. She enters the factory, taking Joyce along; Giles and Snyder follow. Inside, Buffy finds Ethan and catches him. Her fist persuades Ethan to give up all that he knows. Trick needs to dull Sunnydale adults in order to take the tribute for Lurconis.

Meanwhile, four vampires enter an unguarded hospital to remove four newborn babies. The scoobies' research reveals that the demon Lurconis eats babies, and Giles remembers that the demon may be found in the sewers.

Buffy, Giles and Joyce crash the party in the sewer, and the Mayor flees unnoticed. Buffy defeats the vampires while Giles and Joyce rescue the babies. Mr. Trick escapes and the demon appears. Buffy pulls down a gas pipe, igniting it, forming a jet of fire with which she attacks and kills Lurconis.

Later, the Mayor and Mr. Trick discuss the debacle. Although the Mayor isn't happy, he is placated when Mr. Trick points out that now there's one less demon he needs to pay tribute to. Despite this, the Mayor warns Mr. Trick not to do him any more favors.
306 BandCandy

Giles acting like a teenager

The next day, the adults have returned to their senses. Snyder promptly chooses Willow, Oz, Xander, and Cordelia as "volunteers" to clean up the mess in the hall. Buffy complains to Giles about the SATs. They meet Joyce, but Buffy fails to notice their awkwardness upon seeing each other.


  • The Cream song that Giles and Joyce listen to ("Tales of Brave Ulysses") later re-appears when, after Joyce's funeral, Giles listens to it in the season five episode "Forever".
  • The question "Why aren't the vampires feeding?" is never answered. Though it may be they have orders from the mayor not to; he seems to control many of them this season.
    • Actually, the reason is alluded to when Oz replied "Something's happening, someplace that's else. Something big." This implies that an impending and larger, higher-profile event was keeping the vampires away. Throughout Buffy/Angel, lower level demons (like vampires) have been shown to keep a low-profile during major events or catastrophes. The vampires may not necessarily have been "ordered" to stay away but, may have gotten wind of "something big" and decidedly remained low-key during the tribute.
  • In "Earshot" Buffy learns that Giles and Joyce actually did have sex. Twice.
  • Joyce and Giles will be avoiding each other due to these events for the next few episodes.
  • Ethan escapes for the third time, and though the Mayor's plan went south, but he still gets paid for the job.
  • When they were young, Joyce was somewhat of an outsider at school, Snyder was the uncool kid who thought he fit in, and Giles exhibits his rebel "Ripper" personality. Giles's actions confirm his confessions from "The Dark Age", while Joyce had previously admitted to being on the Yearbook committee in "Witch". Also, Principal Snyder's awkwardness towards Joyce gives Buffy's words towards him in "Becoming, Part Two" more validity("You never ever got a single date when you were in high school, did you?)
  • Giles steals a gun from a police officer which Buffy takes away and places in her belt. Its fate is never revealed (though given Buffy's occasional comments about how much use a gun is in her work [starting from "The Harvest"] it's doubtful she kept it). Also, Giles (by the sound) cocks the gun when he points it at Ethan, and Buffy appears to put it in her belt still cocked—not a great idea!
  • The Mayor once more shows his character, while Snyder, who works as principal at his behest, proves to be unaware of the deeper workings of his evil schemes.
  • Xander had Cordelia's flyer for Homecoming Queen on his locker door.
  • More on Giles's past before Sunnydale was revealed more in depth through flashbacks in the comic continuation Angel & Faith under the Season Nine banner.
  • Snyder states that he practiced Tae Kwon Do which is Sarah Michelle Gellar's martial art.
  • According to the Sunnydale High Yearbook the chocolate sale earned $600,000 for the band. 
  • This is the first instance where a vampire is staked with something as simple as a pencil.
  • This is the only episode where Joyce takes direct action along with the other Scoobies, without being taken, targeted or held hostage by an enemy.

Body Count

  • Three vampires, dusted by Buffy
  • A factory guy, killed by Mr. Trick
  • A vampire, eaten by Lurconis
  • Lurconis, burned with a gas pipe and torch by Buffy

Behind the Scenes

Band Candy Behind Scenes

Behind the scenes of "Band Candy".

Band Candy Behind Scenes Giles

Behind the Scenes- Anthony and his double


  • This is the first episode to be written by Jane Espenson.
  • Kristine Sutherland has often named "Band Candy" as her favorite and most fun episode to film; along with Ted, When She Was Bad and Innocence.
  • The accent Giles speaks with as a teenager, is Tony Head's authentic, actual voice.

Deleted Scenes

  • This comment was cut for length:[1]
Buffy: "I love that you guys love torches."
  • A chant by the Lurconis summoners was also cut.

Pop Culture References

  • Buffy mentions the Real World a popular MTV show.
  • Buffy's line, "Let's do the time warp again..." is a reference to a song in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Anthony Head had previously starred in the stage show and made a notably good Frank'n'Furter.
  • When faced with the prospect of selling the band candy, Buffy compares herself to Willy Loman, from Death of a Salesman. In "Restless", the play that is being performed in Willow's dream is Death of a Salesman.
  • Principal Snyder tells Buffy and Willow, " Call me Snyder, just the last name like Barbarino " the character from T.V's Welcome Back Kotter.
  • Xander asks Principal Snyder if he was visited by The Ghost of Christmas Past, a reference to A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
  • Joyce mentions the band Seals and Croft while spending time with Giles.
  • Joyce tells Giles "You're like Burt Reynolds." Reference to the famous actor.
  • Joyce says the coat she wants is "Very Juice Newton." A reference to the pop and country singer whose big hit was 'Angel of the Morning'.

International Titles

  • French: Effet chocolat (Chocolate effect)
  • German: Außer Rand und Band (Going Wild)
  • Portuguese: A Banda do Chocolate (The Chocolate Band)


  • Mad Cow - "Blasé" (Plays as the group talk about S.A.T.s.)
  • Cream - "Tales of Brave Ulysses" (Played by Giles at his apartment with Joyce.)
  • Four Star Mary - "Violent" (Played by the band at The Bronze as the adults dance.)
  • Every Bit of Nothing - "Slip Jimmy" (Plays at The Bronze when Principal Snyder comments on Oz's hair.)
  • The Kingsmen - "Louie Louie" (Sung by the group of drunken men on the stage of The Bronze.)
  • Christophe Beck - "Sugar High" (Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Score)
  • Christophe Beck - "Tai Chi" (Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Score)


  • Anthony Stewart Head uses his natural accent when speaking as "young" Giles, instead of the one he normally uses for Giles. (Head's natural accent is the one on which James Marsters based Spike's accent.)


Xander - "I don't get this. The candy's supposed to make you all immature and stuff, but I ate a ton and I don't feel any dif - never mind."
Giles - [when Buffy hits Ethan] "Yes!"
Willow - "Kiss Rocks? Why would anyone want to kiss ... Oh wait, I get it."
Willow - "It'll be okay when we get to Giles."
Oz - "Of course. I mean, even if he's sixteen, he's still Giles, right? He's probably a pretty together guy."
Willow - "Yeah, well ..."
Oz - "What?"
Buffy - "Giles at sixteen. Less 'together guy', more 'bad magic, hates the world, ticking time bomb guy'."
Ms. Barton - "Hey! We're all stuck here, okay?! So now let's just sit quietly and, and pretend we're reading something until we're really sure old Commandant Snyder is gone. Then we're all outta here!2
Xander - "Does anyone else wanna marry Ms. Barton?"
Cordelia - "Get in line."
Oz - "They're teenagers. It's a sobering mirror to look into, huh?"
Giles - "'And on that tragic day, an era came to its inevitable end'." That's all there is. Are you ready?"
Buffy - "Hit me."
Giles - "Which of the following best expresses theme of the passage? A) Violence breeds violence, B) All things must end, C)..."
Buffy - "'B'. I'm going with 'B'. We haven't had 'B' in forever."
Giles - "This is the SATs, Buffy, not connect-the-dots. Please pay attention. A low score could seriously harm your chances of getting into college."
Buffy - "Gee, thanks. That takes the pressure right off."


  1. Nancy Holder. The Watcher's Guide, Vol. 2, 2000.

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